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Services and Odisha to lock horns for National Games hockey title

Services will take on Odisha in the men's hockey final at the 35th National Games

Hockey

Kollam, February 10 (IANS)

Services will take on Odisha in the men's hockey final at the 35th National Games after winning their respective semi-finals at the New Hockey Stadium here on Tuesday. While Services defeated Jharkhand 5-1, Odisha ousted Haryana in sudden death.

In the first semi-final between Jharkhand and Services, both teams played attacking hockey with a rock solid defence, not allowing the other to score. As a result, the scoreboard read 0-0 at half time.

But in the second half, Services completely routed their opponents. Scoring began when Inay Bhengra scored the first goal (37th minute). It was soon followed by two back-to-back goals from Davinder Singh (42nd) and Siraj (49th) to give Services a 3-0 lead.

Arvind Kujur tried lifting Jharkhand out of the hole when he scored a goal (54th). But Services continued their domination when Johny Jasrojia converted a penalty corner (60th) followed by Verender Kumar's field goal (68th) to thrash their opponents and proceed to the finals.

Later, Odisha and Haryana had a neck-and-neck fight in the other semi-final and finished with a tied score of 3-3 at the end of regulation time. The match went into penalty shootouts.

Kunjan Topno, Mohammed Naeem, Azam Baig and Osaf Ur Rehman scored for Odisha while Shivdeep, Munish Rana, Naveen Antil and Joga Singh posted a goal apiece for Haryana in the shootout. Finally, Topno scored for Odisha in sudden death to hand his team a hard fought win as they entered the final.

The final will be played on Wednesday and will be preceded by the bronze medal playoff between Jharkhand and Haryana.

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